Exceptional results in curbing water losses

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The Drakenstein Municipality had since 2000 put asserted effort in to reduce water losses. The water losses were in the order of 34% (1999/2000) and through concerted efforts by the Municipality it has been brought down to 9.26%. On average over the past 16 years the water losses are at 12%  while the average water losses in South Africa are at 38%.

The low water loss figures are due to:

  1. Replacement of old water pipe infrastructure (this was started in the early 1990`s). The pipe systems were replaced using the best quality pipes fittings on the market.  It is calculated that the new pipes have a lifespan of between 50 and 100 years.
  2. Replacement and upgrading of efficient pumps and motors. All the pump stations at Drakenstein have  been upgraded during the last 10 years.
  3. Replacement of bulk water meters and metering of unmetered fire, parks and sport field connections. This is an ongoing project and will take a long time to complete. With the current drought the losses have reduced drastically because the connections have been shut down until the dam levels improve.
  4. Replacement of domestic water meters. Water meters are replaced when meters are reported to be faulty or with high meter readings.
  5. Pressure management. The water pressure in the networks is brought down using pressure reducing valves and the use of a flow controller. By bringing down the water pressure to a more controlled pressure range reduces water losses and this intervention is the main contributor to the impressive reduction figures in  Drakensteins’ water percentages.
  6. Repair of burst pipes and leak repair.  Finding and responding to major leaks and burst pipes is a priority and reaction time to  burst pipes is crucial. Higher volumes of water are lost by slow reactions times.
  7. Public awareness. The campaign managed by die Water Service section is done on a continuous bases. This includes an annual Water Week Campaign and organised trips to the water treatment works on Paarl Mountain.
  8. Dedicated staff. For the sustainability of the losses a dedicated staff with common goals is required. Preventative maintenance of key high  mechanical installations are required to sustain the proper operation of the system.
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